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Help! Someone filed a fake DMCA complaint against us

...and took the site down. We do not have any stolen content.

     

luckychucky

1:43 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



We've ranked in the top 5 results on Google for years now, for a few prime keywords. As a result, site after site has simply lifted our home page text verbatim and pasted it into their own, merely substituting their company name wherever ours appears within the text. Usually these sites are in Thailand and India, pretty amateur.

So...whenever we find them we Issue DMCA complaints to Google, MSN and Yahoo, and the copycats gets taken out. So far so good.

But some bright bulb decided to try some revenge and file a false DMCA complaint against us. And Google bought it. My site has been taken down.

The results reference a DMCA complaint, along with a link to view the complaint. Clickcing the link leads to the message "Complaint Unavailable". I can't even see the false complaint. This is a nightmare. Help!

DamonHD

2:01 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi,

Then the false complainant has opened themselves to a perjury charge if in (or ever visiting) the US.

1) Verify that the link is valid (ie not going to a hacked/malicious site).

2) Have a look at the 'chillingeffects' site which displays DMCA complaints I think.

3) Respond to the DMCA challenge as you are allowed to, to rebut it and hopefully get your stuff restored quickly.

IANAL, and I am in the UK, but it seems that the idiot that did this might find themselves in very hot water. You might be able to add damages for your loss of business to whatever trouble they are in with any US business/assets they have.

Rgds

Damon

luckychucky

2:11 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Verify that the link is valid (ie not going to a hacked/malicious site).

What link?

Have a look at the 'chillingeffects' site which displays DMCA complaints I think.

That's the problem, see. At the bottom of the fruitless search results for our name, Google references the DMCA complaint with a link to view the complaint. Clicking the link leads to the message "Notice Unavailable" at ChillingEffects.

Respond to the DMCA challenge as you are allowed to, to rebut it and hopefully get your stuff restored quickly.

We can't respond to it because we can't even access it...this is a nightmare.

pageoneresults

2:14 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'd be on the phone with Google right now.

luckychucky

2:19 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Phone? I've been desperately searching for any Google contact method whatsoever. The only contact I've ever found for Google is via AdWords sales - and I tried that. They gave me an eMail address for Google's legal dept. If I'm lucky maybe they'll reply within a week...

DamonHD

4:05 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member




What Link?

...from your original post...


along with a link to view the complaint

DamonHD

4:06 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google must have a main number for corp HQ.

Call them and ask to speak with whoever deals with DMCA reports or corp legal.

Rgds

Damon

kirsten

5:29 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Google has this available if you search for "contact google"

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
phone: (650) 253-0000
fax: (650) 253-0001

Matt Probert

5:31 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google must have a main number for corp HQ.
Call them and ask to speak with whoever deals with DMCA reports or corp legal.

I doubt if they will give a damn. I too regularly have content plagurised, libelous accusations levelled against my site by large corporations, &c. I'm a small business, I have no real defence.

Welcome to the reality of "globalisation" <g>

Matt

luckychucky

6:31 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In the sprit of helping anyone else who finds himself in this situation -

Apparently the necessary form to file is called a "DMCA Counter Notification". Google gives a link to a .pdf file for the form, but that link downloads a broken document. Yes, you read right. Google's own link is broken. Of course, Google provides no way to directly inform it of this shortcoming.

I managed to find an alternate copy via ChillingEffects, and fax that in instead. Now I wait.

Regarding the link mentioned in my first post, I'll repeat:
The following text appears at the bottom of a Google search for my domain:

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.
The bolded text is Google's provided link. Clicking that link leads to ChillingEffects. org, where the following message is displayed:
Notice Unavailable
DMCA (Copyright) Complaint to Google
The notice is not available.

luckychucky

6:51 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Google must have a main number for corp HQ.
Call them and ask to speak with whoever deals with DMCA reports or corp legal.
There's no way to actually reach anyone (unless you're buying advertising, that is). All calls dead-end in a recorded message to visit the Google help interface...

Realbrisk

1:13 am on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



File a small claims court lawsuit against them, you should get a call quite fast from their lawyers

or try
[gethuman.com...]

[edited by: Realbrisk at 1:14 am (utc) on May 18, 2007]

bobothecat

1:48 am on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)



Here's the link I have for Google's DMCA notification:

[google.com...]

All links seem to work for me, including the (sample) counter notfication link.

Anat

2:19 pm on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Pretty amazing, just how unreachable the big players are...

luckychucky

3:32 pm on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Update: I faxed the Google legal dept a "DMCA Counter Notification" along with a copy of the original federal copyright registration of all my website's content. Within one day Google eMailed back that I have been reincluded in their index. I never did get to see the original bogus DMCA complaint which started this little nightmare, nor find out who filed it. But at least it finally got resolved.

If you look at the gethuman dataBase, you'll notice that the only direct human contact Google provides is for AdWords sales. Like many another crassly self-serving corporation, Google only mans the phones for sales inquiries...and it's an Indian call center, btw.

(realbrisk)

File a small claims court lawsuit against them
"Them" is a vague animal. Sue the mailcious miscreants in Thailand who apparently field the fake DMCA? Good luck. Sue Google? A. I'm pretty sure the only proper venue is Federal District Court, with US$10-$15K of laywer fees just to bring it there; B. Google provides a free public service. When it comes down to it, the sad truth is that Google is under zero obligation to display our websites whatsoever. The reality is that we're recipients of charity, of Google's "grace", all of us in the serps entirely at Google's capricious whim.

Realbrisk

6:48 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



File a small claims court lawsuit against them
Against Google, And yes it works my friend has done it with Citi mortgage when he could not get his payment errors cleared up

a copy of the original federal copyright registration of all my website's content

where do you file for this

Marcia

6:54 am on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



U.S. Copright Office website:

[copyright.gov...]

And the Copyright Website has been considered an authoritative source for years:

[benedict.com...]

[edited by: Marcia at 6:59 am (utc) on May 20, 2007]

luckychucky

10:33 pm on May 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Citi mortgage is not Google, and suing for a billing error is not equivalent to suing for non-inclusion in Google's free search engine service...

Realbrisk

12:50 am on May 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Citi mortgage is not Google, and suing for a billing error is not equivalent to suing for non-inclusion in Google's free search engine service...

Yes But for Google its still cheaper to give you a call than to send down a lawyer

 

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